Being invited to reflect on the five years since I was featured in Faces to Watch has been a challenge. Perhaps because it encourages introspective thought. What have I learned and what advice could I give?
In the end, I’ve drilled down to five thoughts I feel my past self would have found useful and, hopefully, this will be of use to others too.
Keep connecting – in person
In the era of algorithms and InMails, it’s important to remember that we are social creatures. Our desire to meet, converse, share and learn is built into the fabric of our survival. So much comes from meeting face-to-face. The way someone talks, where their passion animates them, the things spoken in the gaps between formalities.
Take time to meet with your clients, team and peers – help them solve their problems and they will happily help with yours. Find a mentor, become a mentor, invest in people.
Throw yourself out there
Henry Ford once said: "Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right." In recent years, I’ve worked with some dynamic entrepreneurs. All of them share one thing – when they have an idea, they act on it – often without delay.
Whether you have an idea for a client, your company or even yourself, silence the voices of doubt and make it happen. Chances are your idea will be a great success. But if not...
In a recent Campaign column, Sue Unerman suggested that failure may be regarded as something to be avoided in education and business but it is considered crucial for success in science.
Failure often comes from being a pioneer – for trying new things and assimilating the risks associated with that.
Michael Jordan missed 9,000 shots in his career – 26 of those being match-winning chances – yet is still regarded as the best basketball player of his time. Look into any beacon of success and there will be the shadow of failure not far behind.
Hold true to a set of core values
We live in a time when the "bullshitometer" is clocked to max and – in the social sphere especially – any messaging that isn’t 100% authentic and transparent is quickly rebutted.
Be honest about the work you create, strive for authenticity and the results will follow. Demand it in your company and its leaders. Expect it in yourself. Be conscious of your values, question how they align with the companies you work for and speak up when they are in conflict. Otherwise, those moments of quiet can later become the loudest whispers of regret.
Nurture what brings out the best in you
Those who know me well know that I have a passion for creative writing. To me, writing is mental deadlifting and, without an outlet for that, my mental agility stiffens and ultimately suffers.
Whether it’s writing, rolling around on a jujutsu mat, beatboxing or fire-breathing, recognise the building blocks that make up who we are and help keep us fulfilled.
It’s equally important that others understand who we are outside the workplace – only then can we expect to deliver the best from ourselves and each other.
James Wigley is the director at Joe Media. Wigley was featured in Campaign's Faces to Watch in 2012.